Another Form of F1 Competition
In between races the F1 teams compete in a way that we seldom think about. All of them have websites and they use these to put across the coolest, most technologically advanced and friendly impression of the team that they can muster. And all differ in style, approaching the business of client relations in various ways. After a quick browse through the sites, it occurred to me that they could be rated for design, information and news supplied, speed of loading and ease of use.
First impressions count and, on that score, I think BMW Sauber win by a narrow margin. The design is clean and clear and loading indicators are provided so that we can see how things are progressing. Flash is everywhere but they have thoughtfully provided a means to switch off unnecessary intervening animation in case the viewer doesn’t want the twiddly bits. There is plenty of good info and their news is up to date. Videos are provided. It’s a good site with a depth that encourages you to stay and look around.
Next up has to be Renault. This is a well designed site with masses of info and even a blog (although the blog steers well clear of saying anything controversial). Where it falls down is in the quantity of flash used – the graphics are constantly changing and this slows everything down until it becomes jerky. But the overall feel is both friendly and professional. Again, a site that one can spend time on.
I put Red Bull and Toro Rosso next (they have a combined site). These guys really know about customer relations, welcoming you with a very good video that keeps you entertained. Unfortunately, it runs every time you return to the home page from elsewhere on the site and can become irritating. The design is not the best, too, having a cluttered and confusing appearance at first. It’s fast, however, and all the necessary info is there. With a bit of slimming down of the front page this one would be a winner.
After these, the sites become hard to separate, there being little to choose between them. These are my notes on them:
McLaren – Plenty of info but not updated often. Have to be a member to access some info and it costs. Design uninspired. Fast.
Williams – Some flash and a bit slow. Pretty but less info than others. Uninspired design.
Ferrari – Nice Italian design but slow. Has a blog but much in Italian and no way to scroll articles. Not F1 specific and a bit short on info.
Midland F1 – This still deals with the F1 team. Simple, straightforward, fair info. Nothing fancy. The Spyker link just leads to the company website (which is very pretty but slow thanks to flash).
Honda – Some flash but not slow. Nice but uninspired design. Good basic info, some news. Sound, no nonsense website.
Toyota – Some flash but very fast. Basic website, does the job but no excitement. Enough info but news sparse and seldom updated.
Super Aguri – Some flash but fast. Clear. Good info, news basic. Nothing special about design.
Of course, these are my own impressions and you may disagree. I have not delved deeply into more than a couple of the sites and there may well be surprises awaiting in some. It is interesting to see how differently the teams approach the business of selling themselves, however. Have a look!